Episode 50: Alzheimer’s as time travel with Christopher Johnson

Christopher Johnson
Christopher Johnson

Texas State University’s Christopher Johnson, a clinical professor in the Department of Sociology, joins the Big Ideas TXST podcast to discuss understanding Alzheimer’s disease as a type of time travel.  

Johnson developed the “Time Travel” model to better explain the variable memory loss of people suffering from Alzheimer’s. Those afflicted by Alzheimer’s experience cognitive, emotional, social, physical and functional regression. The “Time Travel” model uses aspects of Piaget's theory of adult development in reverse, suggesting a non-linear regression but rather connecting loops spiraling downward to depict the fluctuating regression as more recent memories are lost and the individual descends deeper into the past. The insight this model provides will hopefully increase the understanding of gerontologists and caregivers and provide new ways to develop strategies to enhance future caregiving techniques.

Johnson served as director of gerontology for the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Louisiana for 27 years. While there, he developed an award-winning master’s in gerontology online course, which earned the distinction of being designated one of the top academic programs in the state. Johnson retired from ULM and traveled to Scotland to teach for a year and a half in the University of Stirling’s dementia studies program before joining TXST to help develop the nation’s first master of science degree program in dementia and aging studies.

Big Ideas TXST is part of the TXST Podcast Network.

About the Show

Big Ideas TXST goes inside the fascinating minds forging innovation, research and creativity at Texas State University and beyond. Hosted by Daniel Seed, episodes showcase the thought leaders, breakthroughs and creative expression making the world a better place, one BIG idea at a time. Produced by University Communications at Texas State.

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About the Host

Daniel Seed is a lecturer in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Texas State University, specializing in electronic media. Prior to coming to Texas State, he worked as a news reporter and anchor, sports director and sports anchor during a career that began at WHDH-TV in Boston and continued at stations in Oklahoma and Texas. He is three-time winner of the Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Award for best sportscast (non-metro category) and a winner of the OAB’s Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting Awards for Spot News and General News.

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